Educational Zone #50 – Cleaning & Lubricating an AK Rifle

I have had several folks ask me to do a post on cleaning and lubing an AK, so here goes.

Before we even start, I will tell you that there are many folks that would tell you that it is not necessary to clean an AK. Tman had a friend that was in Viet Nam back in the 1970’s, and he said that they captured an old AK47 and some ammo.

They shot it a bunch and put it in a locker for a couple of months. The ammo was corrosive and when they took the rifle out, it was frozen solid with rust. He said that he placed the butt on the ground and used the heel of his boot to kick the bolt open. He then loaded a mag and went out and shot it. It never even hiccuped.

But just because this design is “tough” doesn’t mean that we need to abuse them. If you keep one clean and lubed, it will last a lifetime.

I have a Egyptian Maddi AK. It is a semi-auto version in 7.62 X 39. We shot it this morning, about 100 rounds, and will now clean it.

First, we make sure the magazine is removed and that the chamber is empty.


You begin disassembly by pressing in on the cover button.


Then remove the action cover.


Then remove the action spring assembly.


Then pull the bolt assembly to the rear.


You can then lift the bolt assembly out.


Turn the bolt and firing pin assembly and lift it out.


I use a wrench to remove the operating rod cover.


And lift it off of the rifle.


I then spray solvent into the gas bleed hole and let it soak.


I also spray solvent into the operating rod cover.


I then push a wet patch through the barrel.


Then brush it several times to get it clean.


The patch will come out dirty.


An old toothbrush will help get the bolt face and extractor clean.


Also scrub the bolt carrier assembly clean.


The front end of the gas pistol is always filthy.


I use my fine wire brush to polish it clean.


It cleans up like new.


I use a cloth and a screwdriver to clean out the gas rod cover.


I use compressed air to blow the solvent out of the firing pin assembly and the gas port.


I apply a little oil to the exterior of the firing pin assembly prior to replacing it in the bolt.


Lubricate the rails where the assembly rides them and the grooves on the bolt assembly, and then replace it in the rifle.


Replace the action main spring.


And you can put a drop of oil on the hammer and trigger areas, if you desire.


I then work the action a few times to spread out the lube.

Replace the dust cover and you are done.


It only takes a few minutes to clean and lube this simple rifle system. If you keep it clean, it will last longer than you will.

1 Comment on Educational Zone #50 – Cleaning & Lubricating an AK Rifle

  1. You get an A in my tech writing class. Very well presented, concise, simple and beautifully illustrated.

    Thank you for your instruction.

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